There aren’t many brand new five-door hatchbacks on the road priced at a cool £5,995, actually, there aren’t any, apart from the Dacia Sandero. And when you consider than some people spend more than that on a bottle of fizz, should we put our trust in an unknown brand, or pay a little more for a motor with a pedigree? Well it all depends on what you want your car for.
Dacia is a car company that was formerly owned by a Romanian state car manufacturer and is now owned and supplied by Renault. It has cleverly reinvented itself in these trying times of austerity, by making cheap and basic cars. It advertises itself as the automotive equivalent of a no-frills airline, and originally launched in 2004 making cars costing €5,000. Last year it actually won the Scottish Car of the Year, but is it any good?
Well, if you are one of those drivers, who want a gas guzzling statement motor, that people gasp at in wonder as you pollute the atmosphere whilst you thunder on past, perhaps the Dacia Sandero is not the car for you. If however, you simply want a cheap and cheerful car, with the basics catered for, that is just about comfortable, comes with plenty of space for children in the rear seats and room in the boot for family sized luggage, then maybe the Dacia Sandero is worth another look.
The Dacia Sandero comes with a very adequate audio system, which is just as well as the drive can be quite noisy due to the light cabin structuring. As for performance, well, don’t expect too much as you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You’ll have to plan in advance if you want to overtake, and cornering takes some precise know how, but this is not a car manufacturing for driving pleasure. Once you have got that premise fixed into your mind, you are far more likely to embrace what this car can offer.
This is a car that will reliably start every morning, get you from A to B without any major disasters, not cost you a fortune when it comes to repair work, and keep on working until the relatively long warranty runs out.
So what do you actually get for your £5,995? Well I did say it was basic, so you get a 1.2-litre petrol engine that runs at 74bhp. You get 15in steel wheels and you do have to pay extra if you want a radio. You can always add an accessories pack for an additional £430, the Protection Pack for example, includes rear parking sensors, an alarm and a boot liner. Other accessory packs are available.
All in all, we think that for a first car, or a basic second family car, the Dacia Sandero is a great choice. And if you need a larger car for your family, it’s worth bearing in mind that Dacia are also offering the Stepway, which in firebox red is sure to turn some heads, and we actually love the shape, and the family sized Duster. We think these prices are not to be sniffed at.